Jeff Hill, an X-ray technician and David Littleton, a professional prop builder, are amazing builders of R2-D2 units here in the local Arizona Chapter of the R2-D2 Builders. Part of a larger international group of robot builders of over 10,000, they spend much of their time going to local events here in Phoenix. They work to give joy of the astromech units to the masses.
Using aluminum, wood and plastics like high impact polystyrene, they can build these wondrous characters that can light up, drive around, whirl and make the classic R2 whistles, blips and beeps specific to the snarky onscreen droid. “These units can weigh anywhere from 75 to 250 pounds, depending on the materials, batteries and mechanisms used,” stated Jeff as he maneuvered the remote controlled mechanism around and through groups of gleeful fans.
“We volunteer to go to charity events and Phoenix Children Hospital to help where we can,” said David. “We receive tons of requests for these R2 units all the time.”
David’s R2D2 unit is especially unique as it is the only working R2D2 modeled after the Clone Wars version of R2D2.
You can contact David and Jeff for more information about their group by visiting the international group page at http://astromech.net